Mountain House meals and Ziplock bags


Feb 13, 2019
If I divide the multi-serving meals up into Ziplock bags, is it better to use freezer Ziplock bags (thicker) or will the regular Ziplock bags work fine when placing them back into the Mountain House cook bag to rehydrate?
I've always used freezer ziplock. Still reheat them in a proper mountain house pouch. That system has been working well for a few years' worth of trips now for me.

I've never tried regular ziplock baggies, always figured a little extra durability was worth it.
I do "softer" meals (oatmeal, mashed potatoes) in regular ziplocs, but use the thicker freezer style for noodle and rice based dinners. I spring a leak once in a while, but I usually stuff the meal back into my pot after pouring the hot water in and that works just fine.

FWIW - I make my own meals and they reheat/re-hydrate just fine in the ziploc. Not positive, but I bet you could leave the original Mountain House bag out, if you wanted. They are a little more of a challenge to pack around than an empty ziploc.
You probably already know this, but those "multi-serving" meals aren't really multi-serving for most backpackers. Check out the number of calories in one of those bags, and compare to the number of calories you think you'll need in a day backpacking. This depends on the individual, but most people I know eat the entire 2.5 serving bag and it's honestly probably barely enough.
Thanks all for the replies.
Yes, the serving sizes are dependent on the person. I can eat the entire bag but my wife is a different story. If nothing else, I am looking at this technique to stuff my food Ursack fuller and save space in my backpack.
In the future, I plan to make my own meals and just reuse one or two Mountain House bags to help rehydrate them.
Ziploc brand freezer bags, over storage bags are definitely more durable and designed to take on more heat too. If going to put near boiling water in it, definitely probably best to go with freezer style. I have a pot cozy for my pot. If I make dinner with plenty of light to clean up after, I won't even rehydrate in bag. I boil my water, then dump the food straight into the pot, cover, and put in cozy to rehydrate. This keeps the ziploc dry, basically allowing it to be reused with another meal, as opposed to having it be all wet and grimy and then go back in the trash when I get home. It also means a bit less weight to pack out, which is marginal for one meal, but could add up to be a bigger weight savings over a long multi-day trip. Cleaning up my pot really isn't all that much of a chore anyway. On the other hand, if I don't get to dinner until it's dark and I decide it really is more convenient that night to not have to rinse my pot out and all that, then I'll pour my hot water into the bag, and then seal the bag into the cozy, sparing me of any dish duty that night. If I do cook in my pot, I also make sure to store it a bit further out from my tent/campsite in case any curious critters decide any residual smell left over after rinsing real well is still strong enough to make it worth investigating, but to date, I've never encountered my pot being out of place the next morning in all the places I've done this.

Since I'm a smaller guy, I like breaking those MH meals up in half anyway because the portions at that point seem to be just about right for me. Side bonus is I also get more value out of them that way too. There's been a couple times where I ate a whole pouch, but it took a while for the last few bites to safely make it down and I was uncomfortably full afterwards. There have been other times where I'm still plenty hungry right after only preparing half a pouch at which point I'll usually have a candy bar or something else on hand for a dessert to top me off with and up the calorie intake. I'm a smaller guy though with a thin build, so I can see a larger than average person having to rely on the full 2.5 to 3 servings to ever be satisfied.
Last edited:
I usually buy MTN house cans . Split between a few of us. Use the air sucky thing freezer bags they take heated water better....
We repackage into quart freezer bags. Boil water pour into freezer bag which has been inserted into HMG’s RePack for rehydration.

Works great. Less mess. Easier clean-up. Less water. Smaller more compact food bag.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk